If you or your loved one is struggling with alcoholism or another substance addiction, it might feel like you’re all alone. In this difficult time, it’s important to remember that you’re truly in good company since millions have come before you facing similar challenges. Many of these people have found community, support, and accountability through time-tested 12-step rehab programs. Alone or as part of a larger addiction treatment program, these support groups can be a keystone to regaining sobriety and agency in your life.
If you’re looking for such a program in Massachusetts, reach out to our caring team at NuLife Behavioral Health. We’re available at 888.568.2057 or by online message and are standing by to discuss our many in-house offerings or help you connect you with a 12 step program in your area. We often suggest a combination of the two for maximum impact.
What Is the 12-Step Approach to Addiction Treatment?
Since the mid-1930s, small groups have gathered around the country over the shared desire to be free of addiction. Initially, the 12-step approach served only those in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In the decades since its beginning, however, those struggling with other addictions have formed effective groups according to the same model. Groups sometimes exist within larger treatment centers but are often created at the community level, meeting in private rooms of various goodwill spaces such as libraries or churches. Participants typically identify themselves to one another simply by first name and last initial.
While the original language and ideology surrounding AA is Christian, the model can be adapted to encompass any concept of a higher power that clients may hold. The twelve steps of recovery are:
- Admitting you are no longer in control of your substance use and your life
- Believing that a higher power can be called on to restore stability
- Deciding to surrender to this higher power
- Engaging in a courageous and thorough self-reflection process
- Admitting to yourself, the higher power, and another person exactly what wrongs you’ve committed due to substance abuse
- Making yourself ready for a higher power to remove your flaws or personal tendencies toward addiction
- Asking the higher power to remove these flaws and tendencies toward addiction
- Listing those whom you’ve harmed due to addiction and working to become ready to make amends
- Striving to make amends with these people whenever doing so doesn’t cause further harm
- Continuing to self-reflect and take ownership of ongoing setbacks when they occur
- Engaging in prayer or another form of communication with the higher power, requesting insight into how to move forward in your life, along with the ability to carry this out
- Engaging in service to others struggling with addiction and translating the principles of the 12 steps into your broader life
How Do I Know if a 12-Step Addiction Treatment Program Will Work for Me?
If you or a loved one is grappling with addiction, seeking peer support through a 12-step program can be a life-changing experience. That said, different program types work best for different people. The 12-step approach is unique for its inclusion of the concept of a higher power and its anonymous communal nature. This program type thus works especially well for those receptive to the concept of outside support, both from something larger than themselves and from a community of peers.
If you’re not sure whether a 12-step program is a good fit and simply wondering whether an addiction has progressed to the point of needing formal treatment, here are a few signs to consider:
- Your usage frequency and duration are increasing
- Cutting down or stopping feels impossible
- Urges and cravings are increasing
- You’re open to the idea of a higher power’s existence
- Secretive behavior, such as hiding your usage, is increasing
- There are negative consequences of your substance abuse, but you’re not able to stop
Contact NuLife Behavioral Health Massachusetts for More on 12-Step Rehab Programs
If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction and could benefit from community support, don’t struggle alone. Call the qualified team at NuLife Behavioral Health for referrals to local 12-step programs and information about our addiction treatment services in Massachusetts. Reach us at 888.568.2057 or by completing our secure online form.